W&L Dance hosts viral feminist poet

Guest poet Nina Mariah Donovan performed with the dance company this past weekend

Hannah Denham, Arts & Life Writer

Twenty-year-old spoken-word poet Nina Mariah Donovan performed her poem “#NastyWoman” during the W&L Repertory Dance Company’s performance this past weekend.

The poem gained national prominence when it was performed by Ashley Judd at the 2017 National Women’s March in Washington.

Donovan’s live performance was an accompaniment to “Breaking Through the Glass,” a dance choreographed by Cate Peabody, ‘18.

Bria Kelly, ‘20, who dances in the piece, said this experience was much different than the team’s rehearsal with a recording of the poem.

“I don’t think any of us realized how impactful it would be once Nina was here in person,” Kelly said.

The full performance included a total of eight works, including three other guest artist residencies throughout the year. Choreographers Jordan Kriston, Autumn Eckman and Lauren Hall visited campus for four years at a time throughout the past year to work with the dance company.

This weekend was the first dance performance Zach Christian, ‘20, had ever attended. He said his favorite piece was “Breaking Through the Glass.”

Another popular piece, “Siri Says,” was choreographed and acoustically arranged by guest Lauren Hall. Six dancers formed a piece that the program’s pamphlet identified as “a mash-up of dance in pop culture.” The dancers followed the choreography according to the sound of Siri’s voice.

“It was a nice break from all the serious pieces,” Christian said.

Ramonah Gibson, ‘20, a theatre major with a double minor in film and creative writing, agreed.

“‘Siri Says’ was a perfect combination of good acting, good dancing and good lighting all come together,” Gibson said.

Their performances from March 15-17 were the dance company’s final events of the 2017-18 school year.